Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Way of the 4th

We only went to the fireworks once when we lived in Wisconsin when my daughter was small. James was a toddler at home with a sitter. The first rocket exploded and Stacey screamed covering her ears with her hands. It was the last time we took any child to fireworks until Stacey was around seven and James five. Up until then we held sparklers in the driveway. It wasn't much, but there was no screaming of children.

Fireworks fascinate and amaze. I don't mind fireworks. The idiots who go across the state line and bring home illegal fireworks, those who set them off in my street are what I do mind.

We lived on a cul de sac. I was watching the neighbor boys from the window overlooking the hill. The two teenagers managed to set a bush on fire. They stomped it out. Then another caught fire. This time their mom came out to cursing and swearing at the boys. Hm.

I remember many 4ths when I would find parts of rockets and debris from other types of fireworks  in my yard and on the house. Responsibility. Just a little responsibility. That's all I ask.

It seems with fireworks, as with many other things, that if it is illegal it holds a fascination for those who want to push the envelope. Illegal might be the key word here. I know that our neighbor boys did not obtain the fireworks on their own. I also know that their mom could not have be oblivious to the noise in the driveway.

When we moved Oregon, we went to neighborhood fireworks. There were only about ten people there each bringing their own fireworks. Since that time, that small fireworks display has turned into a display that draws hundreds. Families bring food and sit on the lawn eating while waiting for the sky to darken. Donations are taken to support the community fireworks. The fire department stands by 'just in case'.

I smile remembering my small daughter with her hands over her ears. We returned home before the display really got underway to sit with our dog and play with our children. Not a bad way to spend the 4th of July. Not bad at all.


  1. I'm a big believer in municipal displays. Someone commented that, to be normally so overprotective, modern parents are awfully permissive about fireworks. I know one of my daughter's friends had to have major reconstructive work on a hand after a fireworks accident. So I say leave it to the pros.